A Palestinian tried to stab Israeli policemen outside the Old City of Jerusalem Wednesday, but was shot dead, the 21th Palestinian stabbing attack in 11 days.
The suspect, sitting outside the Damascus Gate into the walled Old City, raised the suspicion of police because he was wearing military camouflage pants and seemed nervous, police said.
Asked to show his identity card, he produced a knife and started storming toward policemen trying to stab them, before eventually being shot dead, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. A local bystander and a tourist were injured in the attempts to shoot the assailant, police said.
Hundreds of troops were being deployed Wednesday in Israeli cities following a series of shooting and stabbing attacks by Palestinians.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) were preparing to deploy six companies to reinforce the police, IDF spokesman Peter Lerner posted on Twitter.
Some 300 soldiers were integrated into police activity, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
The move follows a security cabinet meeting that ended early Wednesday.
Witnesses said they saw some soldiers in green uniform reinforcing police in the area where two Palestinians shot and stabbed Israelis on a Jerusalem bus Tuesday.
In an unprecedented move, the cabinet also authorized police to block off Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem to impede Palestinian access to predominantly Jewish areas.
Witnesses in the city said they had not yet observed many roadblocks between Jewish and Arab areas.
The cabinet also decided to recruit 300 public transportation security guards.
A series of punitive measures were also approved, including revoking Jerusalem residence permits, confiscation of property and a prohibition on rebuilding houses that were demolished as punishment for a terrorist attack.
On Tuesday, Palestinian attackers went after Israelis with knives and – in one instance – a gun, leaving three Israelis dead and 22 injured in separate assaults on a “Day of Rage” declared by Palestinian groups.
Two of the attackers were killed and three injured, in four attacks in a matter of hours.
Two Israelis were killed and 16 injured on a bus in Jerusalem, after two assailants boarded, one with a gun, the second with a knife, opening fire and stabbing passengers.
In another part of Jerusalem, a man rammed his vehicle into a bus stop in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood, then got out of his car and repeatedly stabbed a 60-year-old rabbi with a butcher’s knife, killing him before being fatally shot by a security guard and border policemen who rushed to the scene.
Ra’anana, a town north of Tel Aviv, saw two separate stabbing incidents.
There were four stabbing attacks in Jerusalem on Monday.
Seven Israelis have been killed and many injured in a wave of Palestinian knife attacks this month.
Nineteen Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem have been killed, but 14 of them have been attackers shot dead after or during attempts to stab Israelis.
Another 11 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip while storming the border with Israel and in an airstrike that was a response to Palestinian rocket fire.
Some 1,445 Palestinians have been injured by rubber or live bullets in clashes with Israeli security forces since early this month, in the worst wave of street violence in years.
The violence comes amid perceived Israeli changes to the status quo observed at a disputed Jerusalem holy site, which have been denied by Israel.
The stabbings, and throwing of rocks and petrol bombs at Israeli security forces and civilians is also an expression of the frustration of a new Palestinian generation in the absence of any peace process.